Flanders and the Netherlands are at the forefront of the biobased economy. With a firm presence of agro and chemical companies and cooperation between multinationals, SMEs, knowledge and education institutes and governments, the region is enterprising, distinctive and application-oriented, and well placed to take the lead. But there is a lack of sufficient and well-qualified labour to further develop the biobased economy in the Flanders-Dutch border region.
The Interreg Project Borderless Biobased Education (Grenzeloos biobased onderwijs - GBO) examines the future demand for biobased competences and the necessary training that can answer this question. Several partners from Flanders and the Netherlands contribute to this. With a project grant of € 1.5 million, Interreg Vlaanderen-Nederland supports cross-border projects for smart, green and inclusive growth.
GBO brings together knowledge and regions
Partners in the project, which runs till the end of 2019, originate from both Flanders and the Netherlands. They are more precisely VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological Research), Instituut van het Heilig Graf, Hogeschool Inholland, Stichting Avans, Universiteit Hasselt, Bio Base Europe Training Center, ROC West-Brabant, HoGent, Gemeente Dordrecht, SPK, Thomas More Kempen, Biobased Delta, HZ Universiteit and ROC Da Vinci College.
VITO facilitates education on value chain thinking
The transition to a sustainable bio economy is an important theme for VITO. This transition is associated with the realization of large-scale biobased value chains. It is preceded by a mental change, as the different actors in our society must learn to think in terms of biobased value chains. And this should be integrated into the educational path of future biobased labor profiles. In this regard, VITO contributes to the GBO project, as it has experience in dissemination, advice, and policy support in this area.
VITO plays its role as a knowledge institute within the GBO project and provides an overview of current and expected future research areas within the bio-economy. In addition, VITO examines the relevance of BIOBUILDER® as a tool in new training courses. BIOBUILDER® is a simple educational tool developed by VITO and UHasselt. Students and teachers can use them to create and discuss biobased value chains.